The multi-talented African-American star Russell Simmons has made his mark as not just a record producer and author but as an entrepreneur. He is famous for being the President and CEO of the popular communication company known as Rush Communications; as well as co-owner of Def Jam Music label. In addition, Russell equally owns notable clothing brands such as Tantris, Phat Farm, and Argyleculture. He garnered lots of attention in 2017 following his sexual assault allegations. Read more about it and the multi-millionaire below.
Who is Russell Simmons?
Russell Simmons is a renowned businessman and entrepreneur, as well as a record producer and an acclaimed author. Born to African-American parents Daniel Simmons Sr. and his wife Evelyn Simmons, Russell Wendell Simmons first stepped into this world on the 4th day of October 1957. He grew up with his siblings Rev Run and Daniel Simmons Jr. in Queens, New York. Russell attended August Martin High School and after his graduation in 1975; he enrolled at the City College of New York where he acquired his bachelor’s degree. While he was there, Simmons met Kurt Walker who inspired him to become a hip-hop artist.
Russell founded the Def Jam music label alongside Rick Rubin in 1983 and has produced several music videos as well as movies. He produced the hit comedy series titled Def Comedy Jam as well as Def Poetry Jam. Later on, he equally produced the commercially successful comedy film titled The Nutty Professor. The film starred the likes of famous artists such as Eddie Murphy.
Asides from Def Jam production coy, Russell has also founded other businesses including Phat Fashions LLC which he eventually sold to Kellywood Company for $140 million in 2004. He is also the founder of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation which provides art education and support to the less privileged youth.
The African-American star has accumulated huge wealth for himself and is living a lavish lifestyle. Simmons net worth has been estimated to be $340 million. He earns his net worth from his career as a record producer as well as other business ventures. Notably, Simmons is considered as one of the richest record producers in America.
His Wife, Girlfriend, and Kids
Undoubtedly, Russell Simmons has been successful in his career but the same could not be said of his love life. The star was previously married to an American model named Kimora Lee. Kimora is a renowned television personality as well as a fashion designer and model. She garnered fame through her appearance on her own TV show titled Life in the Fab Lane and Kimora: House of Fab. Born and raised in Missouri in the United States; Kimora started modeling at the age of fourteen and she has worked with various fashion designers including Kari Lagerfeld, Emanuel Ungaro, Valentino, and Fendi, to mention a few. She has appeared on the cover of popular fashion magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, among others.
The pair began their relationship after meeting each other at the New York City’s Fashion Week in 1992. After five years of a successful relationship, they exchange marital vows in 1998. Their wedding was held at the Caribbean Island of St. Barthelemy and the ceremony was celebrated by Russell’s brother Joseph Reverend Run Simmons. After their wedding, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Ming Lee Simmons on 21st January 2000 and two years later; their second daughter named Aoki Lee Simmons was born on 16th August 2002.
The couple was living happily until after eight years when their relationship turned sour. They separated in March 2006 and in 2008, they filled for a divorce which was finalized at the beginning of 2009. Soon after their separation, Kimora went on to marry a Beninese-American actor and model named Djimon Hounsou while there was no news of Simmons subsequent relationships. Apparently, Russell is currently single and not in any known relationship at the moment.
Russell Simmons Rape Allegations
Russell Simmons has joined the long list of celebrities who have been mixed up in rape controversies. Towards the end of the year 2017, an American model named Keri Claussen Khalighi accused Russell of taking advantage of her when she was seventeen years old in 1991. Meanwhile, Keri wasn’t the only lady in the picture; a host of other women have also accused the record producer of sexual assault and rape. Some of them include Amanda Seales; Kelly Cutrone, Luann de Lesseps, Toni Sallie, Lisa Kirk, Jenny Lumet, Tina Baker, and Drew Dixon, among others.
In reaction to the foregoing, the record producer has vehemently denied all the allegations; saying that he has never been abusive or violent with women in any form. It is already known that Russell is a serious supporter of women’s movement worldwide. Following these allegations, Russell resigned from his positions in his companies and his name was equally removed from the HBO’s All Def Comedy series.
However, Russell Simmons isn’t the first successful celebrity to be dragged into the net of a sexual assault allegation. Some other prominent celebrities including Billy O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K, Steven Seagal, and James Franco, to mention a few have had their own share in such controversies.